City Council Candidate Bill Faber Calls For Citizens’ Advocate Position To Help Citizens And Small Business Owners

Tuesday, Bill Faber, candidate for Decatur City Council, advanced his proposal to create a Citizens’ Advocate position to help small business owners and citizens resolve problems with city government.  
Faber notes that many cities, small and large, have a Citizens’ Advocate, which is also known as an Ombudsman. The Advocate’s office serves to strengthen the relationship between citizens and government by providing answers to questions and solutions to problems. 
Faber said, “As an attorney and small business owner, I understand the frustration many face when they want to open or expand a business, but don’t know who to call or what hurdles they will need to clear. The city should be a partner, not a barrier, in helping people grow their business and succeed.”
Faber said the Citizens’ Advocate would “serve as a kind of trail guide to help citizens and small business deal with government.” Faber explained that his proposal isn’t intended as a criticism of city employees, noting his high level of respect for city staff: “the people of our community benefit everyday from hard-working employees and public servants in city government.”  Faber believes the Advocate position would alleviate some of the burden on staff, including the City Clerk. 
While Faber welcomes input from the community, council members, and city staff, he envisions the Citizens’ Advocate as: 
1. An independent and neutral third party hired directly by the City Council to serve as a liaison between citizens and their government, through fact-finding, investigating, and problem solving; 
2. A clearinghouse for fielding concerns and complaints and bringing these to appropriate City Departments, and providing follow up to ensure problems are resolved on a timely basis; and 
3. An independent official to investigate any whistleblower complaints and report on investigation results to the City Manager or full City Council. 
Faber clarified that the Citizens’ Advocate would not provide legal services, but the Advocate’s services would be provided to the public free of charge.

Mayoral Candidate McDaniel Addresses Stance on Governor’s Employee Empowerment Zones Proposal

  Decatur Mayoral Candidate Pat McDaniel has released the following statement on Governor Rauner's Employee Empowerment Zones Proposal:
"Although there are still some differences to come together on in our Decatur Community between some local industry management and local Labor Union Organizations, there have been many bridges built to bridge some of the gaps between the groups since the turbulent days of the 1990s, and that is positive for the community.
"During those turbulent times, Decatur was portrayed by local, state and national media as the battleground of the country between company management and Labor Unions, and that portrayal set the community back in putting a positive light on all the good things that were happening in our community.
"I think I can speak for all community residents in that we don’t need the negative publicity on the state or national scene again as the community begins to come up with a new Marketing Branding Campaigns to promote all the positive things that are happening in the community within the state and on the national scene.
"Newly elected Governor Bruce Rauner has chosen to put the Decatur community on the national media map again in a negative way in the battle between local industry and Labor Unions with his proposal that communities such as Decatur should become an Employee Empowerment Zone which would allow local communities to decide themselves whether they want to become a Right-to-Work Zone which will pit hardworking local Labor Union members against local industry management.
"Decatur has come too far since the 1990s in management and labor relations to return to those days of disruption in the community as the community makes strides in fostering new Economic Development projects to help improve the lives of all citizens within the community.
"I look forward to watching Governor Rauner and the State of Illinois Assembly Members working together over the next few years to righting the ship of state we call Illinois with innovative legislation and programs that will get the state out its financial mess and I know there will be pain on all sides, but the governor’s proposal to have individual communities create their own Right-to-Work Zones will set the stage in my opinion of creating unwanted divisions within Decatur that will drain the new positive energy in Economic Development that is taking place in our community that will help build a stronger community."

--Posted 2/5/15


Mayoral Candidate Chapman States Position On 'Right To Work' Zone

Dustin Chapman, Candidate for Mayor of the City of Decatur, is speaking out regarding City Council Candidate Bill Faber's statement opposing Governor Rauner’s proposal to bring a “right to work” zone to Macon County. "I write to join Mr. Faber in opposition to Rauner’s divisive and extremist proposal, said Chapman. "As a candidate to serve as Mayor of Decatur, I am deeply troubled by Rauner targeting Decatur as ground zero for his war on organized labor. He should look elsewhere for a platform for grandstanding. The last thing Decatur needs is another labor war. "Our friends and neighbors in organized labor are a vital part of our community who make innumerable contributions through charitable and community service. Labor and business should stand together against this proposal, which would surely lead to years of expensive lawsuits we cannot afford. I challenge other candidates for Mayor and City Council to step away from generalities and platitudes and take a firm stand, as Bill Faber and I have, opposing to 'right to work' zones."

City Council Candidate Bill Faber Vows to Fight Destructive and Unlawful “Right to Work” Zones

Bill Faber, candidate for Decatur City Council, has announced his opposition to Governor Rauner’s call for a so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) zone in Decatur. Faber said, “Decatur works best when business and labor work together. Governor Rauner’s proposal is an assault on Decatur’s working families.”
A recent University of Illinois study found that RTW lowers worker earnings by as much as 9% in the manufacturing sector and 22% in the construction sector.1 Additionally, the study found that RTW laws increase gender and racial wage inequity, lowering wages for female workers by as much as 8% and wages for African Americans by as much as 9%. Other studies have shown annual wages are more than $5,000 lower in RTW states and there are 51% more workplace fatalities in RTW states.
Faber explained, “To attract and retain new businesses, we absolutely must have a strong and skilled work force. A push for a local right to work zone would only lower wages, weaken our local work force, and divide our community.”
Faber says the label “right to work,” is misleading, noting that Rauner's proposal allows workers to avoid paying union dues, but still benefit from union representation. Faber called Rauner’s proposal "the right to free-load.” He also explained that unions are not forced on people: “Workers vote a union ‘in’ and workers can vote a union ‘out’. Unions increase women's pay, provide workers a safer place to work, and only a union can stand up to the boss - and keep a job.”
Faber, an attorney for over 35 years, also believes RTW zones are illegal. Faber said, “Congress passed the Wagner Act in 1935. It recognized unions for the first time. The Wagner Act prevents cities and counties from enacting the type of zones Rauner proposes. Only a state government can act as Rauner suggests. Lawyers call this pre- emption.” Faber believes Rauner's proposal will only result in costly protracted litigation, as has been the result of a similar proposal in Kentucky. 

Mitchell Focuses On Education, Energy Policies With Key House Committee Appointments

State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) will be focusing on education and energy policies in the new 99th General Assembly, as Illinois House committee appointments were announced over the weekend.
  Representative Mitchell, an Assistant Republican Leader in the House, landed several key committee posts, including Republican Spokesperson of the new Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee.
  “As the ranking Republican on this important committee, I look forward to continuing my advocacy for quality education, great teachers and excellent schools for Illinois families,” Mitchell said.
  With the future of the Clinton Power Station in question, Rep. Mitchell was pleased to be named to several critically-important committees, including Public Utilities, Energy and Environment.
  “The Clinton power plant is a major economic engine for Central Illinois,” Mitchell said. “Families throughout the area depend on it for good-paying jobs and our schools and other units of local government receive significant tax revenues from the plant. I will be working with Exelon, along with federal and state officials, to ensure the continued safe operation of the Clinton nuclear plant.”
  Illinois’ 11 nuclear units and 6 stations produce 48 percent of the state’s electricity. According to Exelon, the Clinton Power Station produces enough electricity to power 1 million homes. The plant is the largest employer in DeWitt County, providing nearly 700 jobs at an annual payroll of $54 million and generating $13 million in tax payments.
  Mitchell was also appointed to serve on the House Special Committee on Health & Healthcare Disparities. Mitchell represents the 101st House District, which includes all or portions of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.

State Senator Chapin Rose

Rose Appointed To Senate GOP Leadership Team 

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno has announced her leadership team for the 99th General Assembly. State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) will serve as the Senate Republican Whip.
“I am very honored and humbled Leader Radogno appointed me Senate Republican Whip,” Senator Rose said. “I am very excited to work on her leadership team and with our new Governor to take this state in a different direction. Working together, we can make Illinois great again.”
“Senator Rose has boundless energy,” Radogno said. “He has both experience in the House of Representa-tives and the Senate. He brings new ideas to the table with a willingness to implement those ideas.”

Rep. Bill Mitchell

Mitchell Reappointed To House GOP Leadership

The members of the 99th Illinois General Assembly were sworn into office in Springfield last week.
State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) will again serve as an Assistant Republican Leader for the Illinois House of Representatives.
Mitchell was reappointed to the position on Wednesday by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge).
“Bill Mitchell is a passionate advocate for downstate Illinois,” Durkin said. “Bill stands up for the priorities and values of his constituents. He continues to provide me with a perspective that is much needed in the General Assembly. I am confident that Bill will serve the people well as a member of my leadership team.”
“I want to thank Leader Durkin for putting his trust in me to help lead our caucus,” Mitchell said. “It is an honor and privilege to again be appointed Assistant Republican Leader. This is an influential position that gives me a stronger voice in Springfield for the working people of Central Illinois.”
Mitchell has served in the Illinois House since 1999. Mitchell has been a leader on the issue of job creation. In the 96th General Assembly, he served as the Republican Spokes-man for the House Bipartisan Job Creation Task Force. He previously served as Chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Rural Economic Development.
Mitchell took the oath of office Wednes-day to represent the 101st House District, which includes all or portions of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.

or to: Decatur Tribune, 
P. O. Box 1490, 
Decatur, IL 62525-1490.

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